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"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

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The third Fantastic Beasts film picks up not long after the second left off. The Wizarding World and the Muggle World both are on the brink of destruction with Grindelwald at the center pulling all the right strings to get to a place of power. Dumbledore, who has a secret reason why he cannot move against Grindelwald himself, assigns Newt Scamander and his brother Theseus along with Jacob and a couple others to pull off a con so unexpected and so intricate that Grindelwald won't be able to see what's coming. "Who wouldn't like our chances?" as Theseus says.

Secrets of Dumbledore was slow-paced, but that worked to the film's advantage. It felt like a political conspiracy thriller with mystery elements. It still had humor of course, that's to be expected from Rowling, but it was certainly more daring and more serious than the previous two films. It certainly wasn't as dark as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it did have an All the President's Men or Patriot Games feel to it.

Jude Law is fantastic as young Dumbledore. He portrays a man who holds on to guilt and loss, not yet the wise wizard he will become but certainly taking steps toward that era.

Mads Mikkelsen took over the role of Grindelwald from Johnny Depp and honestly, aside from the obvious visual differences, there's not a whole lot of difference. I was concerned that there would be a hole left from Johnny's termination but I should have known, as prolific and astounding of an actor as Mads is, that he would rise to the occasion, and he did. Mads was brilliant, still portraying the suave madman who sees Muggles as lesser and as enemies but also adding a sense of mystery, elevating Grindelwald to a man who holds his cards close to his chest and you never truly know what he'll do next. The film was like one big chess match between Dumbledore and Grindelwald and all the main characters were their pieces.

It's rather sad that Ezra Miller's Credence character only just now feels important after having so much time with hm in the first two films. He seemed like such a lost cause but now, who knows?

J.K. Rowling originally planned for a five-film series but I supposed it rests on the heads of the theater goers. I sincerely hope this film performs well at the box office because there's events we have not seen yet that I would love to see on screen. Things such as how Dumbledore gets the Elder Wand from Grindelwald, how Grindelwald ultimately ends up in Azkaban, where Newt Scamander and Tina are in the time of the Harry Potter films. There's so much story left to tell and I hope JK gets to tell it.

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In conclusion, if you love fantasy and a good mystery, check out the new Fantastic Beasts. It's a legitimately perfect film full of intrigue and emotion. I give the film a 4 out of 4.

© 2022 Nathan Jasper

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